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Foods from Bella's Bistro

2013 Aug 26
Wow, it's been a while since anyone commented on Bella's.

We used to go here often but kind of forgot about it the last couple of years.

Well I have to say we had a wonderful evening where everything just came together. The service was incredibly friendly (Robert, the son of mama the chef), great atmosphere and the food was delicious.

Everything that can be, is made in house: the bread, the sausage, the pasta, the sauces and the desserts (probably more things as well).

Starters were the proscuitto wrapped shrimp in an amaretto cream sauce and the home-made italian sausage in mustard sauce.

I have only ever had one main course here each time we come and it's the lobster ravioli. To die for.

Hubby had the veal marsala with julienned veggies and linguine with rose sauce. The veggies were fresh and cooked to perfection, the veal tender.

For dessert we had the homemade gelato and the sour cream apple pie, which Robert said had just come out of the oven. You could taste the love :)

Not sure why we forgot about this place, but we won't forget it again!

2011 Aug 27
I was here last week with some friends from work mainly because my two Italian friends wanted to try some place in Ottawa that had traditional trattoria-style Italian food instead of the modern Italian food. I had the roasted eggplant-tomato soup, the fettucine with chicken and roasted peppers in a pesto sauce and the opera cake. Both were from the specials menu.

The soup was really good. It had a nice colour to it and the taste was absolutely amazing. Neither he eggplant or the tomato overpowered each other and the soup went very well with the bread that was provided.

The fettucine was really good too. The kitchen didn't skimp on the chicken and the roasted peppers were tasty. The fettucine was cooked al dente and the mixture of the pasta in the pesto sauce was heavenly.

The opera cake was good. However, I don't really remember much about it. It satisfied my sweet tooth for the day.

The group thought their meals were great and the Italians were impressed. We'll be back.

2011 Aug 7
Surprised by some of the negative reviews.

Over 8 years bella's service and food has been consistently good.

I enjoy the beef in conac reduction, the special chicken Parm is very good. Tiaramisu can't miss and strong standard of European grade coffee.

Bella's can get very busy, reservations early in the service works well. On busy nights if they could afford to turn people away everything could be kept at a very high standard. Instead they have kept prices down an I just come before the rush.

Love your place Bella.

2010 Oct 14
Went to Bella's this evening. Have some comments that I hope the restaurant might read. First of all the server had absolutely no knowledge of the wine list. Asked about a wine, under the Italy category, and was told that it was Italian. Actually the wine list was relatively short which I like, and the wine we ordered ($52) was good. Problems are with service and table setting. First of all for a restaurant in this price range they should serve wine, especially when you might purchase a very good one, in a proper glass. Not your standard narrow inexpensive glass used for every wine in the restaurant.
I also repeat what I read in another review. They should provide steak knives for the lamb and also for the veal strip loin. They only provided a regular table knife, no serrated edge etc.

Food was good, tasty gravy, meat was ordered "medium rare" came more medium well.

Potatoes were good, vegetables were fresh and a good variety.

We might go back, except the service was not up to a par that one would expect for a restaurant in that price range. At home we eat well, and expect a high quality of service when we go to a more up scale restaurant. Bella's didn't deliver on that front.

They should hire a professional server, pay them appropriately and they would get better reviews.

2010 Jun 17
We Were Served Medium-Well Lamb by Napoleon ...

My second and final visit to Bella's Bistro Italiano was last evening. While the atmosphere was fabulous and judging from my previous visit, likely the food would have been wonderful, the service and overall experience was terrible and I would even say disturbing last evening. I attribute this to a high-strung server with a Napoleonic Complex.

After arriving at 7:30 I was promptly seated and waited for my dining companion who arrived 5 minutes later. We were served drinks and ordered our meals by 7:45. The bread was fabulous as were our salads and the attention to our needs for water and drink refills – no complaints for the first 30 minutes or so. My companion at 8:15 inquired as to where our entrées were and was told “they were being plated now”. At 8:40 we finally received our meals. I took a bite of my chicken and it was fabulous. My companion looked at his rack of lamb and inquired of our server “is this medium rare?” Obvious to anyone but a blind man was that the meat was medium-well. Our server, who had suggested medium rare as optimum for flavour at the time my companion ordered, became quite irate and said: ”it is what it is; I can take it back and you can wait another 30 minutes for your meal." Following this rant was, “I’ve done my best, you haven’t even said ‘Thank You’ for the bread and salads and fresh-ground pepper” (not true).

My companion, a doctor who specializes in counselling, mediation and conflict resolution, attempted to ascertain from our server why he was so angry and hostile. Further arguing from our server and accusations that we were being rude caused me to suggest that we just leave. I stood up and our server continued to accuse each of us of being rude and arrogant. I suggested that he should get the owner or manager to come out so we could resolve this matter and the server’s response was “I am the owner; that’s why I’m talking to you like this, just get out!”

We promptly left and enjoyed a fabulous meal at Siam Bistro just a couple blocks East on Wellington Street where our presence, patronage and wallets were welcomed!

I suggest that if you choose to dine at Bella’s Bistro Italiano you bring your thick skin for the owner and a sharp knife for the lamb!

2010 Jun 3
I went last night a with a group of friends, we were all pleased with our dinner.We decided to
pick different menu items to get a feel for the
place. It was all very good, pasta was fresh,
sauces were tasty, service was friendly. Definitely I go again.

After paying a very reasonable bill, we asked the
waitress how long has Bella's been in business.
She told us 15 years - obviously they're doing
something right.

2009 Jan 12
Went to Bella's last night; it was my first experience there after having heard good things about it. I started with the 'Insalata della Salute' which is the mixed green salad with goat cheese and sundried tomato crostini. It was excellent. For the main course I had the gnocci with a Bolognese sauce. It was hearty and good for a cold winter night. I also had a chance to taste the ravioli with lobster and crab and it was also very good. Too stuffed for dessert but I did have a double espresso. My expectations for Ottawa restaurant espresso are pretty low, but this one was more than decent. Dinner for three came in at just under $100 including tax, which I thought was very reasonable. The mains range quite a bit with some meat dishes at $30+, so the price could vary quite a bit but it all seemed to be in line with what you'd expect. All in all, pretty solid Italian - I'd definitely return. Service was excellent. Good crowd there on a Saturday night.

2007 Sep 9
I would like to say that the service at Bella's is an absolute joy. As soon as you walk in the door, you know you are going to experience a lovely dinner. Keep up the great service!!!

2007 Jun 10
Went to West-fest this past weekend and decided to try Bella's. Besides being the name of an old girlfriend, I have always heard good things about it.

Because it was last minute they did not have room in the restaurant, but did on their tiny patio. So we opted to partake.

Their Patio Menu is quite limited and I presume different from their white linen-ed interior, but I did not expect quality of food to suffer.

We had BBQ shrimps with rice and veggies and seafood ravioli. I am not a big ravioli fan, expecting something quite extraordinary for the $20 pre-tax/tip price point....outdoors on a plastic chair. Because of lobster, crab and other things named in the menu for the ravioli, my expectations might have been high. It ended up being pretty much something I could have picked up at the Loblaw’s and cooked up myself at home. Couldn’t taste any lobster and the crab came out of a can. I would rate that as awful.... If I can do better at home, it's not the place to be for me.

The shrimps were nice enough, but only three and the veggies was a sprig of rosemary! What would one expect for $10 pre tax… maybe a little bit more veggies would be nice?

We have pics, but may take a while for my friend to get to me. It was her camera.

A table next to ours had a pasta with mussels… and well, it didn’t look very good, but I didn’t ask them what they thought.

To top it, one of the waiters either was just slow or having a bad day; nasty, and even made a mistake on the bill. (Total bill including tax was $60 for two, so not cheap, but not very expensive... we had some wine, but no dessert or appetizers, just one entrée each…small at that. I left hungry.)

With the plethora of Italian places in Ottawa... and I can think of a few that are actually pretty good, how can a place like that survive? Looks like there were a lot of locals out for their Sat night dinner, mostly older... Island Park types....

2007 06 10.

2007 Feb 1
I had organized a party at this restaurant, 3 days before the party was to be held, they called me to cancel the reservation, due to an error on the part of their staff. They were not acoomodating at all, and really put me in a bind. The way they treated their customer in this situation is not acceptable.